Child coloring a book

How Can You Tell If Your Child is Ready for Preschool?

As soon as you see your toddler begin to walk on their own or communicate in words and phrases, you might consider enrolling them in a preschool. Child development is important to nurture at an early age, but one of the critical things that you should consider is whether your child is ready for preschool. Determining if your child is ready to start preschool can be an anxiety-inducing process. As much as possible, you want to make sure that your child feels safe and comfortable in a new environment.

While most preschools accept children between two and four years old, educators also look into a child’s preschool readiness – whether the child’s is ready to make a transition into a preschool environment, including its routines and expectations. Thing is, certain building blocks or skills are necessary to develop preschool readiness, including language, sensory, social, and self-care skills. Establishment of these building blocks will help your child adjust easier, allowing them to make a smooth and successful transition into the preschool environment. You can identify whether your child is ready for preschool by considering these following factors.

Separation Anxiety

Child hugging his fatherIf your child is used to having you around every time they need you, then it might be difficult for them to be apart from you when the time comes that he starts going to school. They might feel distressed, anxious, or scared when they see you leave, causing them to throw a tantrum. Before your child starts preschool, try creating opportunities that will allow your child to be away from you. You can schedule a weekend with their grandparents or you can ask a babysitter or a relative to care for your child. Do this gradually, until your child starts to feel comfortable spending time away from you. However, if you can’t workout separations anxiety upfront and if your child cries during their first few days at school, don’t worry. Many preschools would allow parents to spend a few minutes in the classroom to help children calm down.

Self-Care Skills

While some schools are more lenient, there are preschools that will require children to exhibit independent behavior. This may include potty training, being able tie shoelaces, eating with utensils, or opening their own bags. Though children are not expected to fully master these skills at their age, being able to do these tasks will make the adjustment period less stressful.

Comfort with Routine

Preschools usually follow a predictable schedule. When the same things happen every day, children feel more comfortable and in control. It will help if you and your child establish a routine at home. Schedule time for reading, play, bath time, meal time and bedtime and stick to it.

Social Interaction

One of the activities preschool usually have is “circle time”, allowing students to learn and play together, sit still, and listen to stories. This can be difficult for children who are still more focused on exploring their surroundings or those who have short attention span. You can help prepare your child for such interactions by scheduling play dates or signing them up in a summer class so they can experience how its like playing with other children.

Before sending your child to preschool, it is important to look into these factors. Pushing your child to adjust in a new environment when he is not physically, emotionally, or socially ready might just make it a traumatizing experience for them, and in the end could only hinder their learning and development.

Male high school teacher

How High School Teachers Engage Students to Learn

It is a sad truth that some high school students do not feel inspired to learn in school. This leads to not only lowered achievements but also an overall disinterest in learning.

While there are lots of school strategies to motivate students to focus on their subjects, many high schools in progressive areas like Salt Lake City continue to look for ways to inspire and encourage students to become more engaged in learning. Here are some strategies that teachers and instructors apply to make a difference.

Giving Students Control

Sometimes, teachers become too attached to their manual and modules that they forget about the capabilities of their students. They hardly ever track each student’s learning progress because of the unending list of to-do’s.

Some students begin to lose interest in learning when they cannot cope and feel overwhelmed with lessons and schoolwork. Teachers can counter this by allowing students to track their own progress with simple lists to empower and motivate them. Students who are in control of their learning become more interested and feel more accountable to deliver.

Focusing on Short-Term Goals in the Classroom

High school students may not care much about long-term goals because the future is a long time away for them. Teachers can focus more on visible and easy-to-reach goals.

This can be incorporated into learning activities like using writing prompts for better writing, reading aloud activities for low ability students. Teachers and students can become more engaged when they pay attention to their present actions and activities.

Using Passive Learning for Disengaged Students

Relying on positive attitude for students to learn will not work for those who are not interested or are disengaged. Students will absorb knowledge better when they are exposed to it via oral language and listening.

One way to use this is through instructional videos on different subjects to build background knowledge. Reading aloud to some students is rarely done in secondary students, but it is actually a great strategy to engage students to listen and learn.

Using the Power of Imitation

Teachers can ask students to copy and imitate good examples that they see around them. It is not teaching them to cheat; rather, it is a passive way of internalizing basic and social skills. Help them to learn from one another so that they can improve.

Coaching and Mentoring

Female high school teacher and her student

Teachers are regarded as evaluators and judges of a student’s learning progress. To become their coach and mentor means that a student has a helping ally that will guide them to reach their goals.

Coaches and mentors will have tips to help the student excel, and if students trust their teachers as they believe their sports coaches, they will be more engaged in the learning process.

Student engagement is necessary for academic growth and development. Disinterested and disengaged high school students may be undergoing life changes that affect their ability to focus. Teachers can help students out by using strategies that will reverse disengagement and encourage them to love and own their learning.

Student answering an exam

Accepting Your Child’s Choice of College

The college dream starts as early as primary school for some. It’s usually fueled by their parents’ aspirations, especially if they graduated from a prestigious school and they want their child to attend when it’s time. Young hopefuls may also want to attend the same university that taught an influential person they admire. They may even get their first university merchandise as a Christmas gift as a sort of encouragement for their dream.

If that’s how it was for your child, they may have a hard time admitting that they had changed their mind. Maybe they’re considering a different, but equally prestigious university. Maybe they wanted to change their plans for their life. Whatever it is that changed their mind, you should show support unconditionally. Do the following to show them that you have their back:

Help Them Fill Out Their Application Forms

It’s normal for students to have a backup, so they will have other options should their original plan fails. However, if they’ve changed their heart and would prefer to go to a university known to compete with the one everyone expected them to attend, they may not have prepared to apply for it.

Now is your chance to show them your full support by preparing everything they need. You may even find a college admissions consultant to inquire about differences when it comes to the different universities. Each one may consider different values, so you should know how to apply in a way that sets your child apart from the thousands of other applicants.

Encourage Them to Talk Openly About Their Choice

Mother talking to her teenage daughterIt can be scary for your child to openly admit that they don’t want to go to the university everyone else in the family went to, but if they are sure of their choice, you should not make them regret it.

The choice of campus should not be enough to strain family ties, especially because no one knows whether they’ll get in. When they do get in, they will appreciate having the family congratulate them and being proud of their achievement. Remember that the choice of campus is not about prestige, it’s about getting into the academic institution that best fits your child’s interests.

Talk to the Family

It’s one thing to encourage an applicant to talk about their choice, but it’s even better to see everyone accepting the change openly. For family members who are deeply loyal to their university, they may feel betrayed or let down. They may even think that your child is choosing a different school just to spite the family name.

It’s your job as the parent to protect your already-stressed child from all the unnecessary drama over something that will benefit your child’s future. Everyone may have their opinions, but talk to them so they can express their feelings and not hurt or belittle your child in any way. The last thing you want is for your child to go through all the discussion with their relatives, and for it to stress them enough that they end up not getting into the university they want.

The choice of college is your child’s prerogative. Remind everyone that while their opinion is appreciated, this is not about them.